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Joao Moutinho: biography

João Moutinho is a Portuguese footballer who plays for F.C. Porto, as well as the Portuguese National team. He is a very versatile player who can play as an attacking or defensive midfielder, as well as on either wing.

Beginnings

Moutinho was born on 8th September 1986 in Portimão, Portugal, where he started playing football for his hometown club Portimonense SC. In 1999, at just 14 years-old, he signed with Sporting Clube de Portugal and by the age of 17, he was asked by the club’s manager Jose Peseiro to train with the first team, after impressing in the youth set-up.

Career

Moutinho made his league debut on 23 January 2005 in a 3-0 win over Gil Vicente FC. The midfielder soon established himself in the team and his strong performances, especially in the UEFA Cup, helped Sporting progress to the final, where they were beaten 3-1 by CSKA Moscow. They also managed a second placed finish in Portuguese Liga and Moutinho earned himself a one year contract extension. Sporting again finished in second place in the league the following year, with Moutinho being the only player to play every minute of every league game that season. This led to him being awarded the vice-captaincy at the beginning of the 2006/7 season, at just 19 years-old. The following year he would go on to become Sporting’s second youngest captain in their history, behind Francisco Stromp. These consistently strong displays did not go unnoticed as Moutinho attracted a lot of attention from clubs around Europe, which nearly led to him signing for Everton in 2008/9. However, on 3 July 2010, he left Sporting as he signed a five year contract with their fierce rivals FC Porto for a transfer fee of €11 million. Moutinho was first capped by the Portugal national team at the age of 18, making his debut in a 2-0 friendly win at home against Egypt. He has since gone on to earn 27 caps for his country and scored his only goal in a 2-0 home friendly win over Moldova. Moutinho was picked for the UEFA Euro 2008 squad but only managed a place on the reserve list for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Achievements

In his brief career so far, Moutinho has already won all of Portuguese football's top honours. In his time with Sporting he won the Portuguese Cup twice, in 2007 and 2008, as well as the Portuguese Supercup in 2007 and 2008. Since signing for FC Porto in 2011, he has won the Portuguese Supercup in 2010 and the Portuguese Liga in 2011.

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